You probably already know how caffeine works: it boosts the dopamine in the pleasure center of the brain, increasing adrenaline. Personally speaking, having coffee before an early morning ride or bike race makes me feel ready for blastoff. I feel more alert and energized after a cup, as if my brain has been jump-started. Studies now say caffeine also increases endurance by sending messages to the brain that it’s not tired.
Not only do I like how it makes me feel, but I love the taste of coffee that hasn’t been decaffeinated. However, to maintain the effect it has on me, I limit my consumption and will occasionally drink decaf instead.
Sure decaf is the ugly stepchild to coffee; it’s less tasty, more processed, and dilutes many of the healthy components of the caffeinated version. But it doesn’t make a bad substitute for the real thing. You make it the same way as regular coffee, and a good decaf tastes mighty similar.
Hence decaf is my way of enjoying the basic aroma and process of making coffee, which is as enjoyable to me as consuming it.